ROOKIE HALF-BACK Cory Aston is relishing getting some game time under his belt at Featherstone Rovers, but admits his ultimate aim is to secure first team rugby for Leeds Rhinos.
Aston, 22, signed for Rhinos from Sheffield Eagles on a two-year deal last November.
He played for Rovers on dual-registration in pre-season and joined them on loan last week, making his debut in the 10-9 home loss to Rochdale Hornets three days ago.
Rhinos’ management are keen to see how Aston performs for a top Championship club and he reckons the arrangement is a good one.
“At the end of the day, I want to be playing,” Aston said.
“I hadn’t played for nearly five weeks up until Sunday so the main thing is just getting some game time and playing there.
“Featherstone is a great environment to be in.
“Sharpy [Jon Sharp] is a good coach and I know a lot of the boys as well so it is good to be involved there.”
Aston added: “My main goal is to be playing for Leeds Rhinos. It is a massive club and this is where I want to be playing, but at this moment in time obviously I have got a bit of work to do, so I’ll go to Featherstone and get some game time there up until when I am needed back at Leeds.”
Rhinos do not run a reserve side and until his loan move there was no opportunity for Aston to play.
“It was really frustrating,” he admitted.
“I had a few meetings with Mac [coach Brian McDermott] about it and he just said ‘be patient’.
“I have been patient, but he knew I was getting frustrated and it was good that he understood that and eventually I got chance to go to Featherstone and get some game time there.”
Aston was a regular in the Kingstone Press Championship for Sheffield and reckons he will only benefit from playing at a high standard.
“Up until Sunday Featherstone were unbeaten from four,” he said.
“They are obviously going to be a top team.
“It is going to be a good competition every week.
“Against Rochdale, they are not known as one of the top teams in the league, but they put up a great performance.
“That’s testament to how good the Championship is this year.”
Aston admitted his debut did not go according to plan, with Hornets snatching a shock win through a late penalty goal.
“It was probably the worst conditions I’ve ever played in,” he said.
“It was an absolute mudbath.
“I was a bit rusty and a bit inconsistent, but I will look to put stuff right this week, if selected, against my old club Sheffield.”
Rovers take on Eagles, who are coached and run by Aston’s father Mark, at Wakefield’s Beaumont Legal Stadium, Belle Vue, on Sunday.
“I’d love to play in that,” Aston said.
“If picked I’ll be looking to put in a big performance in what’ll be a massive game.”